ZenBusiness vs Legalzoom: LLC Formation Services Compared 2021

Looking to form a new LLC for a business or venture you are starting but don’t know where to begin? With many online incorporation and formation companies it is easy to become confused and overwhelmed when choosing the provider that is right for you. We have a long history of creating LLC’s and other business entities and have personally used both ZenBusiness and Legalzoom for the creation of LLC’s, so we wanted to put together a straightforward guide to choosing the right vender based on your business needs, goals, and budget constraints.

ZenBusiness Company History & Background

ZenBusiness is a relatively new company in the incorporation services space. But, don’t let their age fool you, they are backed by serious investors with significant experience building technology companies. Zenbusiness offers multiple tiers of formation services as well as other related new business services like website creation and design depending on your experience level and budget.

Legalzoom Company History & Background

Legalzoom is well known in the business formation services space as a reputable provider of legal services. They offer a wide range of packages and services from LLC creation to trademark filing and drafting of wills. This company was formed in 2001 and has a long standing history of offer business legal services online for a reasonable price.

What They Have in Common

1) Reasonably Priced: Both done for you services allow you to get professionally created legal documents and entity formation services for a fraction of the cost if you were to hire a business attorney.

2) Fast Turnaround Time: Both Legalzoom and ZenBusiness offer plans that allow you to have an LLC or corporate created in as little as a few days to weeks depending on your state and business type.

3) Customer Support: Both services pride themselves on providing excellent customer support, have a question? just ask? Not need to waste your own time sifting through articles online of various trustworthiness.

4) Complementary Services: Both LegalZoom and ZenBusiness have many complementary service offerings to get your business off the ground from registered agents service to web site design and creation. Both these companies have experience helping thousands start businesses and can point you in the right direction for all you legal and administrative business service needs.

5) Trusted: While there are differences to both companies (that we will dive into in this article), both are legitimate with many positive reviews and are copiable of creating formation documents that meet all legal standards and requirements.

6) Free Content & Information: Both companies offer free educational resources in the form of blog posts and guide to help you get your business started and off the ground.

Pricing

Zenbusiness offers some of the lowest priced LLC formation services on the market today with a starting cost of $49. Legalzoom’s LLC offering is slightly more expensive with a price of $99. Both these packages offer free registered agent services for the first year and also have additional services available through upsells at an increased cost to cover all your business service needs when starting a new business. If you are looking to keep cost low while you are starting out Zenbusiness is the clear choice for you in this category.

Customer Service

While both companies have customer service available, Zen business is available 24/7 to answer question and concerns as well as offer the ability to connect with CPA‘s and other financial professional to answer any tax questions related to your LLC. Legalzoom also offer adequate customer service, although they are a much larger organization so in general they give less attention to any individual customers. If 24/7 customer service through multiple communication channels is important to you ZenBusiness is the best fit for you. Once we had a slight issue with our payment method for a recurring registered agent service and they were very easy to work with and corrected the issue within a few short hours. We had not had the same experience with Legalzoom.

Ease of Use

Both companies offer an easy online checkout flow that allows you to enter all required information for your new company digitally without having to fax any information or make any lengthy phone calls. Email, phone, and online chat support is available for those who require additional assistance although the company formation process is very straightforward. If you are able to complete basic computer tasks like sending and receiving email as well as buying things online you should have no problem completing the forms to have your new entity created. Personally I like the simplicity of ZenBusiness’s offering and checkout flow, but if you are looking for any addon features and services and want a more complete “catalog” experience, Legalzoom may be a better fit for your needs.

Features & Packages Available

Both companies other multiple packages at varying price points and levels of sophistication.

ZenBusiness Packages

ZenBusiness Starter Package = $49 + Individual State Filing Fee

The starter package is a great barebones option for individuals looking to get a basic company setup quickly have have all their basic legal basic covered. For a reasonable fee of $49/year, this package offers a standard filing service, registered agent, name availability search, and a worry-free CPA assessment. This starter package is advertised to create an LLC within 2 – 4 weeks, however we have seen the turnaround period be significant shorter than advertised in recent months.

Standard Filing Service

The standard filing service includes the preparation and filing of articles of organization based on your individual state filing requirements. ZenBusiness was draft these articles for you and file them correctly with you state.

Registered Agent Service

In America, every LLC must had a registered agent designated, which is a person or business entity that accepts the delivery of important business documents from the state on behalf of your business, and forwards them to you. This service is free with a starter package for 12 months and then you are given the opportunity to cancel or renew for an additional $119/year.

Name Availability Search

Zenbusiness will search the databases of business names in your state of formation to see if your desired business name is available for registration or if is it already being used in trade by another organization.

Worry Free CPA Assessment

Zenbusiness offers a free tax and bookkeeping assessment from their inhouse CPA’s to give tips and guidance on taxes and accounting for your newly formed company.

Who Should Purchase the ZenBusiness Starter Package?

The ZenBusiness starter package is perfect for people looking for a basic, affordable company formation service and don’t mind manually creating an EIN for their new company for setting up their business website and email address.

ZenBusiness Pro Package = $179 + Individual State Filling Fee

The ZenBusiness Pro package includes everything mentioned in the starter service with the addition of Employer Identification Number creation, Worry Free Compliance Guarantee, Domain Name Registration, & Expedited Filing Speeds.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Creation

EIN’s are 9 digit numerical codes that are required in order to file your LLC’s taxes as well as open a bank account for your business. The ZenBusiness Pro plan takes care of the EIN registration process for you with the IRS. If purchased separately this service alone costs an additional $70.

Worry Free Compliance Guarantee

This service covers the prep and filing of your company’s annual report, along with two amendments per year (if necessary). In addition, if you ever miss your yearly filing deadline this service can help you quickly regain your company’s good standing with the state and IRS.

Domain Name Registration

Normally $25, the pro service includes registration of a business domain name for your company to business a professional looking website and build your customer base.

Banking Resolution

The pro package includes a professional banking resolution form to allow you to indicate who has the authority to open a business bank account for your LLC.

Expedite Filing Speed

Company formation documents will be complete and posted for your record with one week of purchasing the service.

Who Should Purchase the ZenBusiness Pro Package?

The Pro package appears to be ZenBusiness’s most popular plan and is great for entrepreneurs who want to get their business up and running quickly without having to worry about tax or filing compliance issues.

ZenBusiness Premium Package = $299 + Individual State Filling Fee

The premium package includes all benefits of the pro package with the addition of Business Domain Name Privacy, Rush Filing Speed, Business Email Address, and a Business Website.

Business Domain Name Privacy

This features keeps your personal data and information private when your business domain registration process is completed.

Rush Filling Speed

Premium package customers will have their filings prioritized over all pro and starter plan customers.

Business Email Address

ZenBusiness creates a business email account for your custom domain (ex: [email protected]) with up to 5gb of storage space.

Business Website

ZenBusiness will help you create and setup a professional looking website for your new business domain name.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

To conclude, based on our experiences and option we think ZenBusiness is a better option for most people just starting out and looking for an all-in-one easy to use solution with great customer support. Legalzoom has it’s place to more experienced individuals who don’t mind spending additional money for addon service and are looking for a suite of legal services besides just LLC formation.

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